What does CertTESOL mean?

CertTESOL stands for: The Trinity Certificate in teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. It is an intensive four week course which you can complete at LSE.

What is involved in the course itself?

You will have the opportunity to study an ‘unknown language’ (we learnt Russian!) for four hours and then write a reflection on your experience, the methods that the teacher used and anything that you have picked up that you want to take forward in to your own teaching. You will do a similar assignment when observing qualified teachers at the school. There is also a language awareness component of the course to test your understanding of the grammar and phonology which is taught throughout the four weeks by your tutors.

The biggest assignment is the ‘learner profile’ in which you will choose a learner from one of your classes and produce a written report based on interviews about their strengths and weaknesses as a learner, and follow this up with a one to one lesson to help them. Your teaching skills will be assessed through six hours of observed teaching practice, as well as your capacity for self-evaluation and ability to plan lessons effectively. Finally, the only externally assessed assignment is the materials assignment which requires you to produce a material for your learners to use in class and discuss this with a moderator from Trinity.

Sounds like a lot to do in four weeks…

It is, but you will be supported and guided all the way by your tutors at LSE. A timetable was issued to us on our first day with a clear outline and plan for the four weeks. Deadlines and submission dates were clearly signposted, and support sessions were offered in the form of tutorials halfway through the course.

Why study at LSE?

As mentioned, the support offered by the tutors at LSE was fantastic and they did everything that they could to help us and be supportive. In addition, the facilities at LSE are excellent for trainee teachers: there is access to a print room, a vast library of teacher resources and each classroom has an interactive whiteboard. Finally, the qualified teachers at LSE are very friendly and happy to help!

What happens after completing the course?

As mentioned, you will have a recognised certificate to teach English as a foreign language! This means that you can start applying for jobs, and may want to consider the Trinity DipTESOL after gaining some teaching experience too. On one of your final days at the school, your tutors will discuss your ‘next steps’ and provide guidance on applying for jobs.

Highlight of the course?

Learning Russian was challenging but very enjoyable, and gave us a real insight in to how our students might feel when learning English. The learner profile was a tough assignment but it was a rewarding and enjoyable process to assess my learners needs and produce a lesson on this basis.

Any tips?

  1. Complete the pre-course task that is sent to you before starting the course to assess any gaps in your knowledge with regards to grammar and phonology. The pre course reading that will be sent to you will help with this too!
  2. Manage your time appropriately and be aware that you will need to work on at least one day at the weekend during the course (remember that the course is only four weeks though!)
  3. Seek help and advice from your tutors and peers if you are struggling.
  4. Enjoy the course and keep the ‘end goal’ in mind- a qualification for life that allows you to teach English as a foreign language anywhere in the world!

Find out about more about the course here.